By Stephen Downes
February 19, 2004

The Blizzard of 2004
Snow is piling up outside my door and the entire city of Moncton is shut down as the worst storm of the year continues to hammer the city. It's not a 'state of emergency' - yet - but it's as rough a storm as I've seen in a while. But we're all safe and warm, and thanks to Luc, who ventured out into the snow to make this possible, you also have a newsletter. More. By Darren Yourk, Globe and Mail, February 19, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Birth Of The NewsMaster: The Network Starts To Organize Itself
This is the tip of the iceberg. "A Feedpaper is a web-based and RSS-enabled micropublication on any topic of its creators choosing. Creating a Feedpaper enables its publisher to blend, track, and share information on any topic." As Robin Good writes, "The discovery is the unlimited and yet untapped power we now have to search, filter, aggregate and create focussed news/information channels with the only support of our know-how, culture, experience and a little unknown free technology called: RSS." Picking up on the idea of the self organizing network, he described the "NewsMaster," a professional who creates "niche Web site and information channels on very specific topics and with a possible significant rewarding economy." By Luigi Canali De Rossi, Robin Good, February 19, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

ADL to make a 'repository SCORM'
As reported in OLDaily in January, ADL is planning a 'repository SCORM' known as the "lovely named" CORDRA. This article describes the proposal, outlined at the ADL plugfest in Zurich, Switzerland. "The ideal is that learners would be able to discover and identify relevant material from within the context of a particular learning activity." Good coverage, many links. By Wilbert Kraan, CETIS, February 19, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Venture Capital Markets Sink to Lowest Level in Seven Years
I have been hearing variations on this theme for a number of years, and its a trend that is advancing, not declining. It seems to me odd tha Canadian firms - with the advantage of a strong scoial infrastructure and some of the best talent in the world - cannot obtain venture capital. Some would say that it's high taxes, but I don't buy that: Canadian corporate taxes are low, government grants are abundant, an ancilliary expenses - such as employee health care or security - are minimal. Most venture capital comes from the United States, and I think that the cause of the decline is something we cannot address: we're not American. I don't mean this in a nationalistic way, more of a cultural way: our corporate and employee culture is different, we use different money, we have different laws, and we have to cross a border to reach U.S. markets. If this, or something like this, is right, then venture capital markets in Canada are not going to change, which means that looking to the outside to grow is a losing proposition. By Shirley Won, Globe and Mail, February 18, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Real 'Smart Chip' Developed, Scientists Say
Interesting; I wish the article were longer. "Researchers at the University of Calgary have found that nerve cells grown on a microchip can learn and memorize information which can be communicated to the brain. The nerve cells also exhibited memory traces that were successfully read by the chip." By Canadian Press, Globe and Mail, February 19, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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